Dive India & Advance Your Scuba Skills


 

Did you ever dive in India? Are you a certified diver who wants to develop your skills, learn new ones and become a more confident diver? Are you trying to decide between taking a core PADI course or a specialty?

The good news is that as a certified diver you have plenty of options to dive in India. We have a diverse range of sites in our country for you to explore; all while you develop your skills and learn new techniques.

Deciding on which course to take next depends on your current certification level. It also depends on your interests and what you want to get out of the program.

If you are a PADI Open Water Diver, the next course for you is the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course. This is our recommendation for all Open Water Divers who want to dive India or anywhere else in the world! You’ll make 5 incredible dives with your instructor, including a deep dive and underwater navigation. The other three dives are yours to choose from a wide range of options. In fact, you can start learning most of the courses from home straight away! Get in touch with us to know how.

For those who are already Advanced Open Water certified, the next step is the PADI Rescue Diver Course. Do you want to become a PADI Divemaster or Instructor? Then you’ll need to become a PADI Rescue Diver first. It is a requirement for all pro courses.

 

dive in India

 

Here are some other programs that might be of interest to you when it comes to developing specific skills…

Reactivate:

With the current Covid-19 situation, in all probability, it has been a while since your last dive. Do you want to recap some of the essential basic underwater skills before moving on? No problem, the PADI reactivate program is specifically designed for this purpose. It will get you back in the water and make you feel confident about your abilities!

Enriched Air Specialty:

It seems so unfair when you have plenty of air left and your computer tells you to shallow up. Ever wished you could stay deeper for longer? Diving with Enriched Air (Nitrox) increases your allowable bottom time. This means you can admire the depths of your favorite dive sites in India, for longer!

Emergency First Response:

This program is a complete CPR and first aid course. It is mostly known by its abbreviation: EFR. The course deals with all aspects of emergency assistance, not just those related to diving. You’ll learn about handling accidents at home and in other daily situations too. Topics covered include CPR, spinal injuries, serious bleeding, choking, shock, splinting… It also includes first aid assessments and many more techniques that can extend a patient’s life. This is a great certification for anyone as it teaches essential lifesaving skills.

PADI Divemaster:

Are you already a PADI Rescue Diver? Thinking of a career in the scuba diving industry in India? Then the PADI Divemaster Course is your first step into professional diving! Unlike other PADI Courses, you’ll be mentored and work alongside your instructor. You’ll gain insight into the workings of the industry and behind-the-scenes at a dive center. You’ll also develop the skills required to assist PADI Instructors with PADI courses. And also learn how to guide certified divers independently.

 

scuba diving in India

 

Digital Underwater Photography Specialty:

It’s hard to explain to non-diving family and friends about some of the beautiful life we see underwater. But with amazing images, you don’t need to! Master the techniques required to produce sharper and more colorful images which will impress your buddies and land-loving friends! The best part is that you don’t have to travel too far to get fabulous photographs. There are many sites that you can dive in India too for some amazing clicks and memories.

Other PADI Specialties:

Is there a particular type of diving you want to learn more about? We also offer a full range of PADI Specialty Courses. These allow you to learn more and develop knowledge in specific aspects of diving. Here’s the list of additional PADI specialty courses: Boat Diver. Deep Diver. Drift Driver. Night Diver. Peak Performance Buoyancy. Search & Recovery Diver. Underwater Naturalist. Underwater Navigation. Wreck Diver.

Are you feeling inspired to take your diving to the next level? For more information, send us a message through our online contact form. Or you can email us at: holidays@planetscubaindia.com and we will get right back to you!

 

By Sarah Wormald, PADI

India scuba diving & other fascinating facts


scuba diving in India

Scuba diving in India is still at a nascent stage. This is mostly because only a small percentage of Indians have taken that giant leap and joined the dive club. That said, most non-divers are as intrigued by the underwater world. As a scuba diver, you have definitely been asked some, or most, of these questions: What does scuba mean? Do you breathe oxygen underwater? Are corals as colorful in reality as they are in pictures? Have they really found the lost city of Dwarka, and can you dive there?

You can find the answer to all these questions here, along with some more fun facts about scuba diving in India. Also we have interesting tidbits about diving in general, which you may not have known.

 

Scuba is an acronym.

It stands for ‘self-contained underwater breathing apparatus’.

 

In 1943, the first scuba gear was invented.

By Jacques Cousteau. It was called Aqua Lung. Currently, one of the top scuba diving equipment companies in the world.

 

Divers breathe compressed air underwater.

No, not oxygen. In fact, breathing oxygen under pressure is toxic. The scuba diving cylinder contains the normal air you breathe on land, which is 79% nitrogen and 21% oxygen.

 

India scuba diving

 

Colors fade underwater.

This is because water absorbs light. Water absorbs different wavelengths of light to different degrees. The first to fade is red. Next to follow is orange, then yellow… This is why your blood looks greenish-black underwater. It is also why corals don’t appear as colorful as they are in pictures. Well, until you point the light from your dive torch at them.

 

Only 5% of the oceans have been explored.

The final frontier is not just space, but also our own oceans. Approximately 95% of the world’s oceans still remains a mystery to us.

 

 

The Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench is the deepest point in the ocean.

It is about 10,944 metres below sea level. No chance of scuba diving there. But it was first explored in 1960 by Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh.

 

The world’s deepest scuba dive is at 332.35 metres.

Or 1,090 feet and 4.5 inches to be exact. Ahmed Gabr broke the Guinness World Record for the deepest scuba dive in 2014. Then 41-year-old, he set this world record in the Red Sea, off the coast of Dahab, Egypt.

 

Andaman and Nicobar Islands

 

For scuba diving in India, only a fraction of our 7,500-kilometre coastline has been explored.

The Andamans and Lakshadweep are two of the best-known destinations for scuba diving in India. But there’s also good diving in Goa, Netrani, Pondicherry, Chennai, Rameshwaram…

 

Scuba diving in India at Dwarka has been on every avid diver’s bucket list.

Ever since marine scientists discovered archaeological remains underwater, off the Gulf of Khambhat, on the west coast of India. Rumor has it that the discovery might change history as we know it. And that the remains lying underwater here are allegedly 9,000 years old.

 

You can begin your scuba training at age 10.

The PADI Junior Open Water Diver certification allows young divers to dive with a PADI professional or certified parent or guardian to the depth of 12 metres.

6 reasons to learn scuba diving in India right now


scuba diving in India

Why would you want to restrict your holidays to just 30% of the earth’s surface, when you can go scuba diving in India and explore the rest of the world as well?! Besides, just think about all those amazing Instagrammable images you will click. The envious faces of family, friends and co-workers. And did we mention that the boss can’t get in touch with you when you’re underwater. Yes, it’s time to tick diving off your bucket list. Especially since you can learn scuba diving in India in your very own city.

 

1. Learn scuba diving in India & explore the most fascinating place on earth

Fancy yourself a traveler? As a scuba diver, you can claim exploration of the seas as well. Maybe, even discover a spectacular dive site! We kid you not. This is a strong possibility when scuba diving in India since only one per cent of the country’s 8,000 km coastline has been explored.

 

scuba diving in India

 

2. Escape to a tranquil world

Think of your last holiday and the number of times your boss or that pesky colleague sent you a message asking for some document or email they simply could not locate. Now think about your upcoming trip scuba diving in India and how you can claim no network underwater. No phone calls, no messages, no emails. Just eat, sleep, dive, repeat!

 

3. Experience a world both old and new

If you are a history buff, just think of the shipwrecks, underwater monuments and other fabulous sites you could explore when diving in India. The 9,000-year-old lost city of Dwarka in Gujarat, for example. Or the shipwrecks at Minicoy, Lakshadweep. Or the diving near an active volcano at Andamans. Every dive has something new and unique to offer, be it that interesting fish you’ve never seen before or the shipwreck you would love to explore.

 

scuba diving in India

 

4. Click the best holiday pictures

A photograph of you clicking a photograph of a turtle. Images of the most scenic beaches. White sands, blue seas, colorful coral, curious fish, your own picture underwater… Counting those Insta likes already?!

 

5. Make new friends

Diving brings together people from across the globe. People who share a common passion for the world below the waves. Besides, there is no chance you see a 5-meter shark and not come back to the boat and talk about it. Not only will be go back from your scuba diving holiday with new experiences, but also a new set of friends and a better understanding of different cultures.

 

scuba diving in India

 

6. Learn scuba diving in India in your own city

Yes, you read that right. You can learn scuba diving in India in your own city. Even if it is a land-locked one like Bangalore. The theory and confined water sessions of the PADI Open Water Diver course can be completed before you head for your adventurous holiday. So you don’t need to spend precious vacation hours in a classroom. Instead, you can giant leap into the blue and discover the last unexplored frontier. You can even advance your skills with courses like the Advanced Open Water Diver, Enriched Air Diver and other PADI specialties. 

 

Ready for your scuba diving in India adventure? Get in touch with us at holidays@planetscubaindia.com or fill in our online contact form, and we’ll get right back to you.

 

The best diving holiday of 2018 in Magical Maldives


Sharks – Magical Maldives 2018 – David Loh

Horizon 3 liveaboard - Magical Maldives 2018 - Udit Sheth Happy divers - Magical Maldives 2018 - David Loh

10th-anniversary-logoWhat happens when on the initial day of your scuba diving holiday itself you see manta rays and dozens of white tip and grey reef sharks? Well, the stakes just get higher for the dive guides. But then again, this is the Maldives! The tropical paradise made up of 26 atolls, with some of the best scuba diving sites in the world. And every dive here is simply spectacular.

 

Scuba diving holiday in Magical Maldives

For Planet Scuba India, this was our third trip to the Maldives in 2018. And, come to think of it, it seemed like each diving holiday was trying to supersede the previous one. This time around, our liveaboard of choice was the Horizon 3. From October 7-13, this luxury liveaboard was home to 23 guests of different nationalities—Indians, Singaporeans, Taiwanese, Malaysians. Including two divers from India completing their PADI Open Water Diver course. They then went on to complete their PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course, along with three other scuba divers from India.

This diving holiday also had a couple of non-divers (who enjoyed themselves just as much, if not more) and some of the best photographers. You need only take a look at the pictures to nod in agreement.

It was six fun-filled days of eat, sleep and dive! And, of course, swapping of hilarious, unforgettable scuba diving adventures.

Here are some of the highlights of one of our best diving holidays in the Maldives.

 

The Manta show

First dive of the day at Lankan Manta point. This dive site, at the southeastern outer reef of Lankanfinolhu Island, is one of the most popular cleaning stations for manta rays in North Male Atoll. And, as luck would have it, on the day of our dive, the manta rays showed up in all their magnificent glory. We took a giant stride off the dive dhoni, descended a few meters, and gasped in awe (well, as much as one can gasp with regulator in mouth), as a manta ray elegantly swam past. Not knowing then that this was just a prelude of what was to come a few minutes later. Our dive guide led us to the coral blocks of the cleaning station. And, lo behold, heads swiveled in every direction as mantas glided in, out, and around in circles.

Here’s the thing about cleaning stations: they are a riot of colors. It is not just the mantas vying for attention but brightly hued cleaner fish, vibrant corals, and a motley of sea creatures. There is just so much to take in that you rue the fact that your neck isn’t able to turn more than 90 degrees. Just how are you supposed to see the cuttlefish whooshing past behind your back, when you eyes are so intensely trained on the spectacular subjects in front of you?!

 

Mantas come calling

Subjects that came to visit us later that night. Bang at dinnertime! Who cares about food when you can watch a manta ray circle around the back of your boat instead. Well, to be fair, it was dinnertime for the mantas too. And one somersaulted away, mouth agape, sieving marine organisms out of the water and into its stomach. Round and round it went, as 23 heads (more if you count the crew) stuck out of the sides of the boat watching in fascination. That is, till it had had its fill and glided away as surreptitiously as it had appeared.

 

Shark tale

Bathala Maaga Kanthila, North Ari Atoll. Even though this dive site, which we visited right after the underwater manta ray spectacle, had grey reef and white tip sharks. Not to forget, schools of yellowback fusiliers and a huge Napoleon wrasse that stole the show. It was the dive at Fish Head at North Ari Atoll that remains etched in our memory. Perhaps it was the story that did it for us. As our dive guide, Marko, told us during the briefing that at one time this was a famous fishing spot. But when the fishermen reeled in their catch, all they got was the heads of the fish. The sneaky sharks had eaten up the rest. Or perhaps it was the dive site itself. With its multiple ledges and picturesque overhangs replete with fan corals and abundant fish life.

Again, just a few meters and a few minutes into the dive, we spotted sharks right below us. Our dive guide took us on a detour, around one ledge and onto another below it. Having us swim stealthily to not disturb the unfolding drama. Sharks darted around, remoras in tow, while parrotfish hid in crevices in corals. And clownfish peeked out of anemones. Crustaceans moved a centimeter at a time to not be spotted.

It was 45 minutes of spying on sharks. Eyes wide in wonderment; cameras trained at the action. Grey reef sharks and white tip sharks, and also barracudas—all the predators at their A-game. Little wonder then that Fish Head, also known as Shark Point or Mushimasmingili Thila, is listed as one of the most famous dive sites in the world.

 

Night dive with nurse sharks

We just can’t get enough of sharks. Especially on night dives. Two months later, we were back during this diving holiday too to be bumped into by nurse sharks. Simply put, the dive at Alimatha Jetty, Vaavu Atoll, offers an adrenaline rush like no other. And to think that all you need to do is kneel on a sandy bottom. While nurse sharks, stingrays, travellies whip around you foraging for food. If we had to bet on a species, it would be the crafty travellies, who gulped down the food faster than the nurse sharks and stingrays could wonder: ‘where the heck did it go?’. It was a surreal experience that no amount of photographs or videos could do justice to. Though the ace photographers did manage to capture little snippets of the frenzy.

Back at the boat after the dive, and the nurse sharks came visiting. Who would have thought that after all the action underwater, there would still be so much excitement to see them. Cameras were whipped out. Facebook Lives were posted. Frantic video calls were made to friends to gloat about what they were missing.

Alimatha night dive - sharks - Magical Maldives 2018 - David Loh Alimatha sting ray - Magical Maldives 2018 - David Loh 

 

Whale shark frenzy

There’s only one thing in the Maldives that can get divers into the water faster than you can blink. And that’s the much-awaited sound of someone screaming: ‘whale shark’! On this diving holiday, we snorkeled to see one just after our dive at Dhigurah Beyru, South Ari Atoll; a dive site that counts whale shark encounters as one of its highlights. It was a mad jumble of divers, cameras and fins, as a lonesome whale shark swam calmly, feeding its way through the waters. Seemingly oblivious to the mayhem unfolding above, for just a glance of it.

 
Divers and snorkellers whale shark at Magical Maldives 2018 Whale shark at Magical Maldives 2018

 

The UMS

Colloquially, UMS, or usual Maldivian stuff, is a term used to describe everything from soft corals to giant turtles. That’s because every dive in the Maldives reveals spectacular sights and secrets. Marble rays hunting together. Octopuses, tentacles intertwined, in a sort of a love-hate dance. Mantis shrimp peeking out from its coral den. Scorpionfish in perfect camouflage waiting for its prey. Turtles gorging themselves silly on sponges. Sweetlips hanging out under overhangs. Moray eels getting spruced up by banded coral cleaner shrimps. Shoals of glassfish darting in and out of a wreck. Feather starfish climbing over hard corals. Stingrays swimming in and out of camera range. Schools of bannerfish, yellowback fusiliers, batfish, red snappers just going about their day underwater. And a liveabord full of happy divers. ‘Coz you just couldn’t ask for a better diving holiday destination than the Maldives.

 

Charles & the octopus - Magical Maldives 2018 - David Loh Marble ray - Magical Maldives 2018 - David Loh Feather star - Magical Maldives 2018 - Madhava Reddy Scorpionfish - Magical Maldives 2018 - Madhava Reddy Fan coral - Magical Maldives 2018 - David Loh Sting ray - Magical Maldives 2018 - Madhava Reddy

Happy divers 2 - Magical Maldives 2018 - David Loh

Aqua Lung Pro HD BCD – A review by Dive India


prohdposter

By Vandit Kalia, Dive India Scuba & Resorts, Havelock Island

The Aqualung Pro HD BCD is a personal favorite of mine.  I owned the previous version of this (Seaquest Pro HD, before they were re-branded) for several years and found it an extremely comfortable jacket-style BCD.    

The air pockets have some structure to them, so the air bubbles doesnt move all over the place (as in some other BCDs) and robust tank support and structure in the back means that the tank stays firmly put, without rolling from side to side.

This BCD has integrated weights and one feature i consider near-essental – trim pockets. These are weight pockets located around your shoulders:  by storing 1-2 kg there, you can move the center of your buoyancy higher up, which allows you to get a better, neutral trim (in other words, you can hold any body position you want – horizontal or inclined – without any issues).    

pro_hd_frontThis system of distributed weights (2 integrated weight pockets and 2 trim pockets) gives you more ditch options:   if you are diving in cold water where you need to plan for the contingency of dropping weights, this gives you more options as compared to a weight belt (which is all or nothing).
 
The Aqualung Pro HD BCD uses a high-denier fabric, which is more robust, more abrasion-proof and less likely to fade or look raggedy over time. Lastly, the BCD comes with more than enough lift to handle cold water diving as well (13kg of lift for a size M).    

And it has more than enough D-rings and attachment points to hold all your accessories. As I mentioned earlier, I used to own this many, many years ago and sold it because i was diving with a tech harness only.  In terms of price/performance, this is probably one of the best BCDs in the market today, period.
 
For more information on Aqua Lung Pro HD BCD, please contact us.